Embassy of the Federal Republic

of Nigeria

Lisbon - Portugal

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Contact us: Av. Dom Vasco da Gama, 3, Restelo, 1400-127  Lisbon, Portugal . Tel: (351)213031290. Mobile: (351)963543377, (351)214075593.  Fax: (351)213018152.  

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ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF THE EMBASSY

Economic Section

Following the Arab Spring, Nigeria’s export of oil and gas to Portugal increased significantly. The balance of trade between both countries remains heavily in favour of Nigeria. However, Nigerian exports are mainly crude oil and natural gas, and not manufactured goods. The Embassy has been encouraging Portuguese companies to venture into the Nigerian market on mutually-beneficial terms. The debt burden of host country and the European Economic crises has had an increasing negative effect in the country with many small and medium scale companies going bankrupt and out of business. There are, however, positive signs that some still solvent Portuguese companies may be interested in entering the Nigerian market as they attempt to expand their interest in Africa beyond the Lusophone bloc. These are energy (renewable), medical and construction companies.

The negotiation of outstanding bilateral agreements, especially those on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Bilateral Air Services, would help consolidate the Embassy’s effort in promoting Nigeria as another destination for Portuguese companies wishing to expand. The entry of the Portuguese payments system company, SIBS International, into the Nigerian economy, in partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) has resulted in the elaboration of a private sector driven Nigerian-Portuguese Friendship and Business Association (NPFBA), which will continue to strengthen our bilateral relation even further.

Embassy Economic Events

The Embassy and the NPFBA participated in some economic events. The focus of the Embassy’s participation was aimed at sensitising Portuguese investors and businessmen of the potentials of the Nigerian market and economy, with particular emphasis on investment rather than mere trade. Some of the events were:-

a) Exponor in Porto (November 2014) – This was an event organised by the Porto Chamber of Commerce to expose Portuguese businesses to foreign markets. The Embassy obtained an exhibition stand and a presentation on the Nigerian market was given by Minister II.

b) Portugal Exportador in Lisbon (November 2014) – This was just like the Exponor, but organised by the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce. Although no presentation was given, the Embassy used the opportunity to embark on trade exhibition, through the use of leaflets and brochures on economic opportunities in Nigeria which resulted into increased trade inquiries from Portuguese companies.

c) Nigeria-Portugal Friendship and Business Association/Embassy of Nigeria Seminar on Export and Invest in Nigeria (December 2014) – The Embassy collaborated with the NPFBA to host this event which recorded very good attendance, including that of the former Minister of State for Economy of the Portuguese Republic. The Head of Mission gave the welcome remarks, and Minister I presented a paper on “Exporting to Nigeria: How, To Where and What Means”. The discussion and the Q & A sessions recorded useful interventions by the former Under Secretary (AA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. G.H. Bristol; the President of SIBS International, Mr. Pedro Hipolito; and the Executive Director of NIBSS, Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe which gave great confidence in the Nigerian markets to the  investors who have since trooped into the Embassy for visas to visit Nigeria for investments.

d) NPFBA Trade Mission to Lagos, Nigeria (March 2015) – As a follow-up to the December 2014 investment promotion seminar, the Nigeria-Portugal Friendship & Business Association, in partnership with the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organised a trade mission to Lagos, Nigeria between 1-5 March 2015. Six Portuguese companies participated in the mission.  The programme included meetings with Mr. Pedro Hipólito, CEO of SIBS International and founding member of NPFBA and Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe, another founding member of NPFBA in the morning of 2 March 2015. In the afternoon of the same day, there was a welcome session with Mr. Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and H.E. Mr. António Pedro Rodrigues da Silva, Portuguese Ambassador to Nigeria, several presentations by speakers from the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bank of Industry, Fidelity Bank, and KS Legal, as well as a networking dinner with members of the Nigeria Portugal Friendship & Business Association and the local business community. On 3 March 2015, the companies participated in business meetings at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and there were several other business-to-business meetings from 4-5 March 2015. The trade mission was featured in The Guardian newspaper as being very successful. The mission was a huge success as many Portuguese business men and women had contacts with local investors in Nigeria. It is hoped that the opportunity of this informal sector of direct foreign investment would eventually open up Nigerian markets to the Portuguese authorities who could then facilitate early conclusion of all outstanding instruments that can boost economic cooperation between the two countries such as the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (ADTA), Cultural, Scientific and Education Agreement (CSEA) and the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA).  

Portuguese Companies that Started Business with Nigeria

Notwithstanding the economic meltdown in Portugal which necessitated a bailout from the ‘Troika’ of the EU, ECB and IMF, Portugal has finally exited the enforced austerity measures in May 2014, after paying back a part of the loan. Some Portuguese companies have therefore started business relationships with many countries including Nigeria such as:-

a) SIBS International has opened an office in Lagos, Nigeria, in partnership with NIBSS for the improvement of international payments systems in Nigeria.

b) Rigangado, an animal feed company owned by former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, was established in 2014 in Yola. It has since started production and has the intention to expand all over Nigeria. The company started after the former Vice President visited Portugal in 2013, for discussions with the Portuguese technical partners who are running that aspect of the company.

c) Dangote Nigeria Plc is in partnership with Zagope Ltd of Portugal, for the provision of skilled manpower for its operations in Nigeria, especially the construction of a refinery at Lekki.

d) Technilab, a Portuguese company that deals in water-sourcing, purification and supply for domestic and industrial use, has started exporting machinery to Nigeria.